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Policy Update Week of March 14, 2011


  1. The Society of American Foresters, The Nature Conservancy and the National Alliance of Forest Owners comment on the Environmental Protection Agency's New Source Performance Standards Proposal

    To read the testimony click here: http://www.eforester.org/fp/policy.cfm

  2. SAF Encourages Attendance and/or Participation at the Forest Service Planning Rule Regional Roundtables

    The Forest Service is hosting national and regional roundtables to provide public discussion on the development of the new Forest Service Land and Resource Management Planning Rule. SAF encourages the attendance and/or participation of our members to provide input from the forestry profession. To find out information on Regional Roundtables, the Planning Rule Notice of Intent, meetings agendas, questions and answers and more, link to the Forest Service Planning Rule website

    The dates for the regional roundtable can be found here:

In the Administration

  1. EPA Proposes to Defer GHG Permitting Requirements for Industries that Use Biomass/Agency Aims for Science-Based, Reasonable Approach to Biomass
      EPA Newsroom, March 14th

    Following through on a January 2011 commitment, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to defer, for three years, Clean Air Act permitting requirements for carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from bioenergy and other biogenic sources. This additional time will allow the agency to conduct a detailed examination of the science on this issue.

    Seeking advice of federal partners, states, a diverse group of expert scientists including industry and other stakeholders, and an independent scientific panel, will help to determine how these emissions should be treated under the EPA's air permitting program. In July 2010, EPA issued a call for information seeking public comment. To read more of this article link to: http://yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/6424ac1caa800aab85257359003f5337/8a075999ffaf58e285257853005acb83!OpenDocument

  2. USDA Seeks Applications for Renewable Energy Funding
      USDA Newsroom, March 14th

    Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that USDA is seeking applications to increase the production and use of renewable energy sources. Funding is available from three USDA Rural Development renewable energy programs authorized by the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (Farm Bill). "This funding will create green jobs and help America become more energy self-sufficient." Vilsack said. To read more of this article click here:

This Week in Congress

  1. House Passes Short-Term Budget Bill Amid GOP Split
      USA Today, Published by Catalina Camia, March 15th

    The U.S. House today passed another short-term bill to fund the federal government, but more than 50 fiscal and Tea Party conservatives defied GOP leaders on the vote.The temporary measure that funds the government expires Friday.The bill passed today is a stopgap measure, which includes $6 billion in cuts to government programs, that will run out April 8. The final vote was 271-158. To read more of this article link to: http://content.usatoday.com/communities/onpolitics/post/2011/03/republicans-tea-party-budget-spending-cuts-/1

  2. House Panel Rejects Measure Backing U.S. EPA's Finding on Climate Change
      Bloomberg, Published by Kim Chipman, March 15th

    A Republican-led House panel rejected a measure supporting the Obama administration's finding that the earth's climate is warming because of human activity. The House Energy and Commerce Committee voted 31-20 along party lines to turn down an amendment by Representative Henry Waxman, a California Democrat, to a measure that would block Environmental Protection Agency greenhouse-gas rules. The bill also rejects the agency's finding that carbon-dioxide emissions endanger the public. "This is science denial," Waxman, former chairman of the committee, said today after the vote. "It's not worthy of this committee." To read more of this article link to: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-03-15/house-panel-rejects-measure-backing-u-s-epa-s-finding-on-climate-change.html

National News

  1. Saw Timber Prices to Recover in 2012-2013 in US-South
      Bioenergy Insight, March 15th

    An increasing demand for raw woody biomass could be a sign of higher pine stumpage prices for forest owners and investors.

    Between 2012 and 2013 Forisk Consulting, dedicated to analyzing the supply and demand characteristics of local wood and timber markets, forecasts saw timber prices for US states located in the south of the region strengthening 4.6% and 5.5%, respectively, as lumber production increases with housing starts. To read more of this article link to: http://www.bioenergy-news.com/index.php?/Industry-News?item_id=3360

In the States: Massachusetts, Michigan, and Montana

  1. Anti-Biomass Coalition Launches Petition Asking for Moratorium on Massachusetts-Issued Air Permits
      The Republican, Published by Peter Goodman, March 14th

    A coalition that opposes biomass energy plants proposed in Springfield, Russell and Greenfield has launched a petition asking for a moratorium on state-issued air permits for the projects and a continued freeze on renewable energy credits. Organizers of the petition gathered in Greenfield on Monday to publicize their effort. To read more of this article link to: http://www.masslive.com/news/index.ssf/2011/03/anti-biomass_coalition_launches_petition_moratorium_massachusetts_air_permits.html

  2. Dow Corning Moves Forward With Michigan CHP Project
      Biomass Power & Thermal, Published by Lisa Gibson, March 14th

    Pending permit approvals, a biomass combined-heat-and-power (CHP) facility proposed for a Dow Corning Corp. manufacturing site in Midland, Mich., should be under construction in the second quarter of this year. The Midland Power Station is expected to produce about 40 megawatts of power, along with steam for manufacturing processes at the adjacent Dow Corning facility. To read more of this article link to: http://biomassmagazine.com/articles/5348/dow-corning-moves-forward-with-michigan-chp-project/

  3. Pine Beetle Numbers Down, Experts Still Worried
      NBC Montana, Published by Matt Leach, March 15th

    The U.S. Forest Service says 2010 saw a decrease in pine beetle infestation, but experts warn it's not a trend, and landowners need to educate themselves if they want to protect their trees in 2011.Shorter than your fingernail, pine beetles aren't much to look at, but they pack a powerful punch. To read more of this article link to: http://www.nbcmontana.com/news/27209734/detail.html

Last Week in Congress

  1. Appropriations Committee Introduces Three Week Continuing Resolution- Will Prevent Government Shutdown, Cut $6 Billion in Spending

    To read more about the CR bill click here:

  2. House Panel Votes to Strip E.P.A. of Power to Regulate Greenhouse Gases
      The New York Times, Published by John Broder, March 10th

    A House subcommittee voted on Thursday to strip the Environmental Protection Agency of its power to regulate greenhouse gases, chipping away at a central pillar of the Obama administration's evolving climate and energy strategy.

    The sharply partisan vote was preordained by the Republican takeover of the House. Republicans and their industry allies accuse the administration of levying taxes on traditional energy sources through costly environmental regulations, threatening the economic recovery and driving jobs overseas. To read more of this article link to: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/11/science/earth/11climate.html

  3. At House E.P.A. Hearing, Both Sides Claim Science
      The New York Times, Published by John Broder, March 8th

    Science and politics rarely play nicely together, and a House hearing Tuesday on a bill to strip the Environmental Protection Agency of its power to regulate greenhouse gas emissions proved no exception.

    Democrats on the Energy and Commerce Committee's subcommittee on energy and power demanded the hearing in the hope of slowing the inexorable progress of the bill, known as the Energy Tax Prevention Act of 2011, which enjoys the near-unanimous support of the Republican House majority.To read more of this article link to: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/09/science/earth/09climate.html?_r=1

  4. March 8th - The House Committee on Natural Resources held a hearing on the BLM and Forest Service Budget.

    To visit the committee website click here: http://naturalresources.house.gov/

  5. March 8th - The House Appropriations Committee held a hearing on the Department of Interior budget.

    To visit the committee website click here: http://appropriations.house.gov/

  6. March 9th - The Senate Appropriations Committee held a hearing on the Department of Interior budget.

    To visit the committee website click here: http://appropriations.senate.gov/

  7. March 10th - The House Appropriations Committee held a hearing on Forest Service management problems.

    To visit the committee website click here: http://appropriations.house.gov/

Wildfire Update

  1. DCNR Offers Federal Grants to Help Volunteer Firefighters
      PR Newswire, March 15th

    With the approach of spring and the increased risk of forest and brush fires across the state, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources today announced federal grants are available to help Pennsylvania's rural communities better guard against the threat of fires in forested, undeveloped and unprotected areas.

    "Warming temperatures, sunny days and strong winds quickly usher in wildfire dangers that emphasize the need to have well-trained and well-equipped local firefighting forces in rural areas," said Bureau of Forestry Director Daniel Devlin. "These men and women deserve nothing but the very best training and equipment that these grants help achieve. " To read more of this article link to: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/dcnr-offers-federal-grants-to-help-volunteer-firefighters-118002609.html

About the Policy Update:

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